Botswana: Its All Systems Go for Schools Reopening

Gaborone — Provision of all basics necessary for adherence to COVID-19 protocols is progressing well and preparations are at an advanced stage for the reopening of schools on June 2, says permanent secretary in the Ministry of Basic Education, Ms Bridget John.

Briefing the media on May 25, Ms John said most of the schools were set for the reopening day, expressing hope that by the end of the week all shall be well.

She said most of the works done in all the schools were at 87 per cent completion stage, according to the report she got by close of business last week, adding that the remaining works were expected to be completed by the end of the week.

Ms John said the first batch to open would be exam pupils, namely standard sevens as well as form threes and fives. These classes will run for two weeks to enable the ministry and other stakeholders to assess the situation, which assessment will then give them the opportunity to usher in the rest of the pupils.

She said pre-primary classes would resume on August 4, which is the end of the winter season, to avoid possible flu attacks.

Regarding the issue of social distancing, Ms John said the intention was to divide classes, which had over 50 pupils into morning and afternoon sessions.

She said they were busy assessing the schools that may need extra teachers so as to employ temporary teachers.

Ms John said the ministry was also aware of congestions at hostels, as such they had taken a decision to partition halls and common rooms to create space for boarding pupils.

"We have dispatched 10 teams to all our regions to go and do thorough inspection that will now be used to gauge the readiness of our schools to reopen," she said.

About private schools, Ms John said the ministry had been in consultation with them through Business Botswana and have agreed that the most important thing during this time was the health of the pupils and teachers.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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